“Life Partners” is about two female best friends—one gay, Sasha (Leighton Meester), and one straight, Paige (Gillian Jacobs)—and the movie is not about misguided crushes. That plot line is refreshing in and of itself. Where “Life Partners” really shines is in its nuanced portrayal of female friendships today. When Jacobs' character Paige lands a boyfriend (played by “O.C.” nerd–dreamboat Adam Brody), Sasha isn't left heartbroken because she's in love with Paige. She's left heartbroken because she and her best friend no longer have the bond of both being single.
Sasha is approaching her 29th birthday, and she finds herself still sleeping with young girls who go to igloo raves on the weekends and live with their moms. Paige's newfound relationship with Tim (Adam Brody) is an increasing annoyance. He encroaches on their “America's Next Top Model” hate–watching nights and has Paige going home at reasonable hours.
While Paige's life seems to be coming together (she's a mildly successful environmental lawyer with a great relationship), Sasha's seems to be falling apart as she questions her life as a “budding musician” (a receptionist).
They no longer spend every second together because Paige is spending a lot more of her time with Tim. In one of the most poignant lines of the movie, after Paige tells Sasha to get over not being able to talk to Paige at 2 a.m. anymore, Sasha tells Paige, "You still have someone to talk to at 2 a.m., that's what's changed." As the two women try to figure out how they fit into each other's lives now, the audience sees them grow up, in an often comedic fashion.
Jacobs and Meester's performances are nothing short of impressive, as well as the supporting cast (including former “SNL” member Abby Elliott and Oscar winner Gabourey Sidibe). “Life Partners” is a coming–of–age tale for this generation of delayed adulthood.
Check out what else we saw at the Philly Film Festival!